The POWER of our THOUGHTS

Most of us live with anxiety or depression and this article hopes to shed some light in making us understand the role of our thoughts in our mental well-being  and how we can better manage them thereof.

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Do you always find yourself in a constant state of mourning, grieving over who you wish you were, instead of relishing who you really are, exacerbated by insecurity and crippled by self-doubt?

 

Do you always size-up yourself up against the well-dressed accomplishments of your friends, colleagues, etc.?

 

Or do you tend to highlight your weaknesses, cringe with insecurities, and constantly view yourself as ‘less than” by comparison with others.

 

This could be because people with mental disorders tend to have unrealistic distorted thoughts.

 

This misrepresentation in thinking includes exaggeration, focusing on negatives, “black and white” thinking (things are either good or bad) and emotional thinking (allowing our feelings to drive out thinking). 

 

Taking just one example, worry generally entails exaggerating both the probability of a negative occurrence and/or the consequences even if it were to occur.

 

If unchecked, these distorted thoughts can lead to unhelpful or self-destructive behaviors.

 

We also have people with negative thoughts involving wanting the past or present to be different.

 

The most productive way to think is to stop wishing the past or present were different (called “accepting what is”). This will help you to focus on what we can do to change the future, including perhaps learning lessons from the past. This is called “positive acceptance”.

 

Things happen, things go wrong, mistakes are made, people upset us, we upset ourselves, life can get hard and we feel overwhelmed – and yes we can feel down and sometimes rightly so. However, no matter what happens, you have to be able to pick yourself up and keep moving forward in a positive manner. Don’t beat yourself up for something you cannot change nor control.

 

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Having a deep understanding of how your thoughts works, applying positive psychology and being mindfully aware, at the moment, of how you are feeling, thinking and behaving is paramount to keeping control

As individuals, we create our own reality with our thoughts and our thoughts are hugely powerful. They shape our life, our beliefs and our behaviours.

Remember though, that you can have total control over your thoughts but to do this you need to understand your thoughts and be highly self-aware. You need to think consciously and realise your potential.

 

When you feel happy, content with high levels of positivity, you are more friendly, collaborative, creative, productive and healthy. Staying positive has a profound effect on lifting your own mood.

 

We can’t blame other people for what happens to us, for our happiness and for our success or failure. It starts with us and our thoughts – we need to take charge and no matter what happens, we need to take control of our thoughts!

 

Remember whatever it is you are going through – it shall pass. Everything comes to an end eventually.

 

Having a deep understanding of how your thoughts works, applying positive psychology and being mindfully aware, at the moment, of how you are feeling, thinking and behaving is paramount to keeping control.

 

In short, thoughts drive feelings, feelings drive thoughts (through emotional thinking), thoughts and feelings both clear influence behaviour and, perhaps less obviously, behaviour influence thoughts and feelings.

 

I hope this article will help you understand and manage your thoughts.

 

Seeking support for depression

Living with depression can be lonely sometimes. Here are 5 ways you can get support:

family support

1. Look for support from people who make you feel safe and cared for. The person you speak to may not be able to solve the problem but they are worth giving a listening ear with unconditional positive regard and compassion.

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2. Make face-time talks. Eye to eye contact plays great role relieving us of the depressive feelings because what we experienced internally are expressed verbally through conversation. Find out the people you relate with and engage in an interaction. In the contemporary society, Phone calls, social media, and texting are great ways to stay in touch, but they don’t replace good old-fashioned in-person quality time.

 

social activities

3. Engage in social activities despite the feeling to withdraw. In most occasion when we are depressed, we find it more comfortable to withdraw into privacy yet involving in public activities reduces the depressive feelings.

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4. Provide support to others. The Chinese says “Yin and yean” literally meaning give and receive, when you help another, it enables you also to be on track therefor listen to a friend and be nice to somebody.

support group

5. Join a support group for depression. Associating with others comes along with the benefit of reducing a sense of isolation. Provide support to other victims, share coping mechanism and experience, you would have saved a friend, a sister, brother or relative.

 

Article by Daniel Ocen

Daniel.ocen@lighthousengo.co.za

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